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Cat Age vs. Human Age: How Old Is My Cat If It Was a Human?

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key point:

  • The idea that multiplying a cat's chronological age by 7 to determine that a cat is about the same age as a human is a myth.
  • A generally accepted method of converting cat ages to human ages is to add 15 years for the first year, 10 years for the second year, and 4 years for each subsequent year.
  • Lifestyle factors, such as living indoors or outdoors, can affect a cat's age.
  • Knowing your cat's life stages is important for proper care and communication with your veterinarian.

True or False: A cat’s one-year lifespan is equivalent to seven humans’.

Wait a moment……

Many people believe this myth to be true. It usually works on cats and dogs. How long this theory has been widely spread, who knows. The "one year to seven" ratio is believed to indicate we believe pets age much faster than humans.

In fact, our felines even age much faster than rumors suggest.

So, what's the best way to accurately determine a cat's age relative to a human?

continue reading.

cat

Domestic cat exhibition animal annual event competition
Cats are one of the most popular animals in the world.

©iStock.com/toxawww

Cats are second only to dogs on the list of the most popular animals in the world. They are the domestic and smallest members of the feline family. As a feline, the domestic cat has a low, lithe body, a long tail for balance, a well-shaped head, and specialized claws and teeth for hunting.

Like their cousins lions and tigers, domestic cats are carnivorous in nature. As any tabby owner knows, they are extremely agile, often powerful, and extremely coordinated when moving and jumping.

Numero uno – dogs – lived in packs before being domesticated. This dog adapts easily to being a house pet. This cat is not so easy to conquer. Domestic cats are self-reliant and solitary. They are curious, courageous creatures who easily find themselves in trouble. But it's hard for them to stay angry. No matter how much risk they take, you will be relieved and not angry.

Cats are beautiful and smart. Their happy purr is candy to many cat owners. They require no maintenance from other animals, especially dogs. You can leave them alone at home as long as they have access to food and water. A companion — a dog or another cat — may be appreciated by the kitten, but they won't panic or be anxious when they're alone.

When you get home, they come running, purring and rubbing against your shins. And not just because they know a meal is coming soon.

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Cats please your life and become a beloved member of your family.

how old is my cat
Two cute kittens are playing together. Cats are one of the cutest companions.

© CebotariN/Shutterstock.com

Is it important to know your cat's age?

Felines live longer than dogs. On average, your kitten can live 20 to 25 years. That means it's important to keep the big picture in mind when you get a new feline companion. Cat caretakers should also consider the impact of major life events, such as moving or adding family members.

Knowing whether your pet is approaching advanced age is critical to knowing how to care for it. We consider canines to mature or mature at 7 years old, while cats mature between 7 and 10 years old – middle age. A cat matures in its 11th year. They are senior citizens until the age of 15, after which they are classified as "elderly".

The age of animals greatly affects their weight and diet, and how often they should have regular checkups. A veterinarian will help ensure your kitten has the best chance of living a healthy life.

It may make sense to purchase pet insurance before your cat is too old. Like humans, older cats can suffer from predictable illnesses or have unexpected accidents. You won't regret planning ahead as your pet enters its golden years!

Cat to human age comparison table

A mother cat is nursing a litter of kittens
When calculating a cat's human age, add 15 years for the first year, 10 years for the second year, and 4 years for each subsequent year.

©iStock.com/bozhdb

Converting cat years to human years is not as simple as converting seven human years to cat years. Mainly because kittens mature faster in the first few years of life compared to humans and dogs.

It is accepted practice to add 15 years to a cat's first year. You add 10 years to the second year. From then on, each animal year is four years of human life. Using the calculations, you'll find that your cat has matured by two years, the equivalent of a quarter-century human.

stage cat age in human years
kitten 1 month 1 year
3 months 4 years
6 months 10 years
primary 12 months 15 years
18 months 21 years old
3 months 4 years
2 years 24 years old
aldult over 3 years 28 years old for each additional cat year is four years
Advanced 11 to 14 years old 60
Four years for each additional cat year
Geriatrics 15 years and above 82 for each additional cat year is four years

How Cats Grow Old

tabby cat jumping
Felines experience the equivalent of many human years in their first two years of life

© Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com

As mentioned earlier, the common one to seven years is misleading. Felines experience the equivalent of many human years in their first two years of life. The aging process slows down for a while before steady aging begins.

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Aging calculations for cats and humans are derived from behavioral and physical changes that occur at different stages of a cat's life. The stages match those found in human life patterns.

Experienced kitten caretakers already know to be prepared for rapid change. During the first eight weeks of its life, kittens need help gradually transitioning from milk only to solid food. This is also the time to make sure your kitten has all the necessary vaccinations.

The theory of aging works on the idea that at one year of age, a kitten is biologically similar to a 15-year-old human. Research has shown that humans and cats are at similar stages of development and growth relative to these points in life.

Cats, dogs, and humans age differently. But cats generally show smaller differences in how they age between breeds. Dog years (like humans) can differentiate breeds. For example, smaller dog breeds tend to live longer. But you can't use this concept for a tabby cat. It seems that regardless of the breed, the difference in aging is not significant enough. Cat breeds seem to follow a very similar pattern as they age.

Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats

how old is my cat
Balinese cat sits on a cherry tree in a green garden.

©Fazlyeva Kamilla/Shutterstock.com

It may sound strange, but where your pets are indoors, outdoors, or both can affect their age. While this is a debatable topic in the animal kingdom, there are reportedly solid rationale data on both sides of the debate.

Animals kept indoors will not suffer trauma or infectious disease from running outside. This may result in a longer lifespan. But the other side argues that indoor felines are at greater risk of disease from environmental constraints.

The exact opposite applies to outdoor felines. By participating in stimulating, natural, new environments, they may have stronger immune systems. But when they explore the unknown, they also increase the likelihood of stress, trauma, and disease.

Owners who understand the signs of aging and their cat's lifestyle will be better able to make decisions about how to manage their pets as they age.

Senior Cat Signs

deadliest cat - cat
A young cat is chasing a butterfly in the grass. Domesticated cats are very effective at catching mice and other vermin, making them one of the deadliest cat species.

©iStock.com/Leoba

There are unique physical indicators that can help you understand an animal's age. This is especially true as your adult kitten reaches her advanced stages.

  • Teeth can turn yellow and develop tartar. Cats can also start losing their teeth. If all teeth are visibly stained, the cat is probably three to five years old. Missing teeth indicate that the cat was between 10 and 15 years old. You should remember that your feline may just have bad teeth!
  • Older animals become thicker, rougher, and begin to turn gray. Soft and fine fur is suitable for young people, just like a full head of hair!
  • Eyes are a useful resource for judging a cat's age. Eyes may appear cloudy, discharge, or water. The iris may have a distinctive crackled appearance instead of its natural smoothness. This can differentiate kittens (smooth) from adult cats (crisp). After 12 o'clock, it is usually cloudy. Crying is a sign of maturity.
  • Arthritis is common in older cats, but it can only be detected with regular checkups. In fact, most signs of age are so close to hidden that they demand your attention. As with humans, activity level affects muscle definition. Kittens playing, running, and jumping are common among teens. If your pet is losing muscle mass or moving around significantly less, you are looking at an older animal. Older adults may be thinner, with prominent shoulder blades or sagging skin.
  • The pet will show muscle or weight loss and become more athletic.
  • Even your most laid-back feline can show signs of a dip in energy.
  • Behavioral changes may include wandering around, meowing, disorientation, or confusion.
  • Older kittens seem to forget where the litter box is.
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world's oldest cat

Cat staring intently at a toy
If your cat treats your hand like a mouse, it might be a good idea to give it a toy to chew on.

© Viacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock.com

There are many stories about the world's oldest kitten. We went to the most reliable resource for record keeping. The Guinness Book of World Records lists the oldest cat at 38 years and 3 days. That's 168 years of age for humans. His name is Cream Puff. Creme Puff was born on August 3, 1967 and died on August 6, 2005. His owner, Jake Perry, lives in Austin, Texas. Oddly enough, Perry also owned Granpa Rex Allen, another feline who was the oldest tabby at the time.

next…

Now that you understand how cats age, there's more to explore! Continue to build your animal knowledge by checking out these fascinating, fact-filled articles:

  • The 8 Best Books About Cats For Curious Owners — Available Today — Deepen your kitten-care knowledge with these eight great reads!
  • Can cats see in the dark, like night vision? – How strong is your cat eye? Click here to find out what they can and cannot see!
  • 12 Animals That Lay Eggs (Some Will Surprise You!) – Oviparous animals come in all shapes and sizes. Learn about these 12 creatures that use eggs to reproduce.

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how old is my cat
how old is my cat

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about the author


Lex is a green, tree-loving animal lover and mother of 21 felines and a dog. Now, she helps pet owners around the world become the best caretakers for their most trusted pets by sharing her experiences and spreading love.

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